Hit’em where it hurts, that’s the modus operandi of a beloved fictional dictator spurned by Thailand.
Nearly a year after Thailand bizarrely banned the latest entry in the popular “Tropico” game series as a threat to national “peace and order,” a recent expansion to the game takes a direct swipe at that decision.
In its “Espionage” expansion for Tropico, a game which puts players in the shoes of a dictator in a tropical paradise, the game breaks the fourth wall to bring up the ban and use it to justify the player’s “revenge” against Thailand.
“Thailand has banned Tropico because we are ‘detrimental to peace and order,’” a virtual advisor explains, according to screenshots from the game. “We have to strike back, Presidente!”
The advisor goes on to outline a sinister plot to sabotage the Thai tourism industry.
“I’ve never heard about Thailand before, but I asked around and it turns out that it does exist. It is best known for its tourism industry,” he continues. “Taking that business away from Thailand will be our revenge, Presidente.”
Players are then tasked with stealing away Thailand’s tourists.
“I asked some tourists why they would want to vacation in Thailand but their answer was far too obscene,” it continues. “We can’t have Tropico associated with that. Instead we should focus on moral things like gambling. I understand that slob tourists pour tons of money into slot machines.”
After succeeding in stealing the tourists, the game suggests players “ban Thailand from Tropico.”
In the original game, released one day after the military seized power in Thailand, players manage the affairs of a small kingdom and its inhabitants. Through the course of the game, they may choose between intimidating the masses with strong-armed tactics in the name of stability or allow democracy and self-rule to take root.
Although decisions made in the game can lead to brutal consequences including civilian massacres and violent uprisings, the game maintains a tongue-in-cheek sense of humor.
The people behind the game have histories well-versed in totalitarianism. Tropico was developed by Bulgarian studio Haemimont Games and distributed by Germany’s Kalypso Media.
Photo: Kalypso Media
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